Good Read on Russell Wilson

RiverDog

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I came across an excellent article/opinion on Russell that I felt was worth its own thread. IMO it offers a good break down of the predicament he put himself into and the challenges that lay ahead. It's absent the inflammatory verbiage that too often characterizes comments, both in this forum as well as the talking heads that are making a living off of taking pot shots and piling on. Here's some excerpts:

Wilson has spent more than a decade in the NFL winning, thrilling and turning his underdog story into an iconic tale. With a Houdini act that may take him to the Hall of Fame, he redefined the modern-day possibilities for quarterbacks under 6-foot. He attained celebrity in a largely faceless game. Yet for all his good traits and good deeds, his ascension came with a perception of inauthenticity that fuels those who mock him now. It’s not that they are rooting for him to fail. They are sneering at the awkwardness of a man who has abandoned self-awareness.

Early in his career, it was charming to learn about the 5-foot-11 kid whose late father instilled an expectation of greatness in him. It was fascinating to watch Wilson fulfill that vision. He was groomed to be a standout quarterback and a prototypical role model, right down to his polished interviews in which, somehow, he reveals little in a charismatic way. He was groomed to aspire without limitation, to change lives with his example. But while his far-reaching impact earned him a Super Bowl ring and a Walter Payton Man of the Year award, Wilson is burdened by dissatisfaction.

There is never enough greatness to settle him. That mentality propelled him to elite NFL status. But a lack of restraint actually stunts his personal growth because it comes with an unhealthy amount of self-importance. His Seahawks departure is complicated and full of blame on both sides, and while Wilson wasn’t necessarily wrong to pursue change, it’s possible that he may have ruined both his once-pristine reputation in Seattle and expedited his demise as a relevant player.

Wilson sought to leave Seattle partly because he wanted more autonomy and to play in a more creative offensive system. But he failed to recognize that he limited himself by lacking trust and operating in the same style despite having three offensive coordinators in 10 seasons with the Seahawks.

In Denver, Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett, the first-year Broncos coach, have spoken like they function as peers, far from the typical coach-player dynamic. This partnership has resulted in a rookie coach who hasn’t established control, a new quarterback who hasn’t played within himself and an offense that has been neither entertaining nor reliable.

Moving forward, the Broncos will need to pair Wilson with a head coach more up to the task than the overwhelmed Hackett, who figures to be a one-and-done bust. And the coach-QB dynamic, whether the Broncos woo Sean Payton or turn to another veteran strategist, must go back to being a traditional one.

 

toffee

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Wilson hasn't reached bottom yet. To achieve absolute greatness, he has to reach that bottom, then lift himself up again to reach the top.

Imagine playing like he has been and worse for the rest of the season, meet more adversities on and off the field, then somehow make it back to the league and achieve MVP at age of say 37? Now that is like a movie script, and he can run for president with that kind of toughness.

Opportunities often partnered crises, Russ must find a way to capitalize on his crisis.
 
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RiverDog

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There were a number of points that the article brings out:

What made Russell successful early in his career, ie Houdini-like extension of plays, is no longer in his repertoire, and he hasn't taken that next step.

His good traits, deeds, and persona, although well intentioned and laudable, came with a certain degree of inauthenticity that made him sound like a phony. It's this character flaw, along with the celebrity status that he sometimes overly embraced, that is now being exposed for all to see as his on-field performance lags.

In leaving Seattle, he's damaged, perhaps irrevocably, one of the things he cherished most, his public image, and continues to give his critics plenty of fodder to ridicule him by doing things that are out of character for him, such as his attempt to be comical in those hideous Subway commercials.

He forced a trade to what he thought was a way to play the type of football that he wanted, and Seattle wouldn't give him. It has resulted in an unconventional coach/player tandem that simply isn't working. If he is to succeed, he needs to be paired with a traditional coach like Sean Payton.

Anyhow, I thought it was a really good opinion that summarized the predicament that Russell finds himself in.
 

DarkVictory23

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What made Russell successful early in his career, ie Houdini-like extension of plays, is no longer in his repertoire, and he hasn't taken that next step.

---

He forced a trade to what he thought was a way to play the type of football that he wanted, and Seattle wouldn't give him. It has resulted in an unconventional coach/player tandem that simply isn't working. If he is to succeed, he needs to be paired with a traditional coach like Sean Payton.
The Houdini like escapes are what got Russell on SportsCenter, what made him successful was playing in a system that protected him from his liabilities. Russ's biggest issues have always been making traditional reads as a passing QB and staying on rhythm. The RPO heavy offense gave him a specific read to make on a lot of plays, allowing him to be successful.

Teaming that with an RB that scared the crap out of defenses meant that no defense was ever able to focus on exclusively (or even primarily) on Russ. Tie that in with a fantastic deep ball, the Seahawks offense was a very hard to gameplan for triple threat. At any given point, Russ could run, hand off to Marshawn, or throw the deep ball. How do you line up your defense to adequately defend all three? You can't, you just have to gamble each play.

But eventually, Russ pretty much stopped reading 'keep' on those option plays. Was it age? Was it him starting to push against the system he thought was keeping him out of the MVP discussion? I won't pretend to know but our offense went from a triple threat to a double threat and eventually we no longer had a scary RB, then we became a single threat. Houdini became the 'second threat' for our offense and what should have just been an ability to save a broken play became literally a whole half of our offense--and that was simply not sustainable.

Pete tried to manufacture another aspect of our offense by trying to run the ball down the throats of the opposing teams regardless of success rate. He knew Russ needed it because it was necessary to open up the play action (believable that we'd run) and try to bring the safeties in so that Russ wasn't throwing all his deep balls into double/triple coverage.


Any coach to be successful with Russ is going to have to get Russ to accept that he's a limited QB who can be successful in certain ways (and those ways get more and more limited as he gets older) and design an offense specifically to work around his limitations. Overall, though, the real key is not to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on an aging QB who can only be successful if you build a specific system around him (that you don't have the money to build because you gave it all to the limited QB).
 
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RiverDog

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Any coach to be successful with Russ is going to have to get Russ to accept that he's a limited QB who can be successful in certain ways (and those ways get more and more limited as he gets older) and design an offense specifically to work around his limitations. Overall, though, the real key is not to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on an aging QB who can only be successful if you build a specific system around him (that you don't have the money to build because you gave it all to the limited QB).
I completely agree, and for that, Russell is going to need a head coach that (1) is offensive minded and can design a system for him to thrive in, and (2) has some head coaching experience and someone that has the balls to look him in the eye and tell him things he doesn't want to hear and someone that Russ respects and will listen to.

Although it's unlikely that Sean Payton ends up in Denver....the Saints still own the rights to him and are likely to ask for draft capital that the Broncos don't have, and that Payton has said he wants to stay in a warm weather city, I mentioned him because he's the one coach that has the credibility it would take to get Russell on board.
 

DarkVictory23

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I completely agree, and for that, Russell is going to need a head coach that (1) is offensive minded and can design a system for him to thrive in, and (2) has some head coaching experience and someone that has the balls to look him in the eye and tell him things he doesn't want to hear and someone that Russ respects and will listen to.

Although it's unlikely that Sean Payton ends up in Denver....the Saints still own the rights to him and are likely to ask for draft capital that the Broncos don't have, and that Payton has said he wants to stay in a warm weather city, I mentioned him because he's the one coach that has the credibility it would take to get Russell on board.
Maybe. The issue is partly that Russ clearly didn't want a coach with that kind of credibility. He thinks he should be basically his own coach at this point.

This is why when we had all these 'keep Pete or Russ?' discussions over the off-season, I said it was better to keep Pete (well, my preference was to drop both, but I've actually been somewhat impressed by what we've done this year, so I might have been wrong on that) because trying to keep Russ was going to mean we needed to bring in a doormat head coach and give Russ a kind of say that we should never have considered giving him.

Denver is seeing why he shouldn't have it. It seems Hackett is now trying to somewhat assert himself (probably because he figures he's already going to get fired now) so we'll see what happens...
 

hawkfan68

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There were a number of points that the article brings out:

What made Russell successful early in his career, ie Houdini-like extension of plays, is no longer in his repertoire, and he hasn't taken that next step.

His good traits, deeds, and persona, although well intentioned and laudable, came with a certain degree of inauthenticity that made him sound like a phony. It's this character flaw, along with the celebrity status that he sometimes overly embraced, that is now being exposed for all to see as his on-field performance lags.

In leaving Seattle, he's damaged, perhaps irrevocably, one of the things he cherished most, his public image, and continues to give his critics plenty of fodder to ridicule him by doing things that are out of character for him, such as his attempt to be comical in those hideous Subway commercials.

He forced a trade to what he thought was a way to play the type of football that he wanted, and Seattle wouldn't give him. It has resulted in an unconventional coach/player tandem that simply isn't working. If he is to succeed, he needs to be paired with a traditional coach like Sean Payton.

Anyhow, I thought it was a really good opinion that summarized the predicament that Russell finds himself in.
What is ironic to me about Russ is earlier in his career, all we heard about is his work-ethic. How he puts in the work studying teams. He's the first one at VMAC (as early 5am) and the last one to leave. Now fast forward to today...someone who is putting in that kind of work shouldn't be struggling with reading defenses, etc. It leads me to question what is he looking at when studying films, etc.
 
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RiverDog

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What is ironic to me about Russ is earlier in his career, all we heard about is his work-ethic. How he puts in the work studying teams. He's the first one at VMAC (as early 5am) and the last one to leave. Now fast forward to today...someone who is putting in that kind of work shouldn't be struggling with reading defenses, etc. It leads me to question what is he looking at when studying films, etc.
I would be very surprised if Russell suddenly quit doing what he has been over not only his professional career, but in college and earlier, that he admits is one of the primary attributes to his success (how many times have we heard him say "the separation is in the preparation"?)and started taking short cuts.

Something is causing Russell not to see open receivers. He had been showing that tendency in the last couple of years with us, and I had assumed that he was bypassing open receivers at short or medium range in lieu of the home run ball. That still might be part of the equation, but it doesn't explain why on a do-or-die 4th and goal that he wouldn't see a wide open KJ Hamler for a winning TD and rather force it into a tight window in overtime vs. the Colts. Is it because he can't see the field, is there something wrong with his peripheral vision, or is he simply locking in on his primary target at the snap and not going through his progressions? Has he been sacked so many times over the years that he's gun shy and will take the first available option, as limited as it may be, rather than waiting for a better option to emerge?

Whatever it is, it's obvious something is going on as he's playing the worst football of his career.
 

olyfan63

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I would be very surprised if Russell suddenly quit doing what he has been over not only his professional career, but in college and earlier, that he admits is one of the primary attributes to his success (how many times have we heard him say "the separation is in the preparation"?)and started taking short cuts.

Something is causing Russell not to see open receivers. He had been showing that tendency in the last couple of years with us, and I had assumed that he was bypassing open receivers at short or medium range in lieu of the home run ball. That still might be part of the equation, but it doesn't explain why on a do-or-die 4th and goal that he wouldn't see a wide open KJ Hamler for a winning TD and rather force it into a tight window in overtime vs. the Colts. Is it because he can't see the field, is there something wrong with his peripheral vision, or is he simply locking in on his primary target at the snap and not going through his progressions? Has he been sacked so many times over the years that he's gun shy and will take the first available option, as limited as it may be, rather than waiting for a better option to emerge?

Whatever it is, it's obvious something is going on as he's playing the worst football of his career.
Russell's situational awareness, of the game situation, has been very lacking for a while now. Hero-ball over winning-ball. I was disgusted by Russell's choice in the Bears game last year, when he took a 13-yard sack on 3rd down, playing hero-ball, made the FG harder (missed) and instead of a 2-score game, it remained a 1-score game that Hawks lost in overtime when Nick Foles drove the Bears for a TD and 2-point conversion to tie, and another TD in OT. Penny's running had the game won, and Russell handed the game back to the Bears on a platter.

He's shown that same lack of game-situation awareness multiple times in Denver for all to see. The horrible pick in the Colts game stands out. I know there are more examples, and when they start stacking up, it's mind-boggling. Russell apparently feels some unnatural compulsion that he always has to be the one to make the heroic game-winning play., and this impairs his judgment.
 
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RiverDog

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Although he may have a 'hero ball' tendency, I'm not ready to accept that as the sole cause of him not throwing to open receivers. There are other possible explanations, like locking into his primary receiver and not going through his progressions or not being able to see from the pocket. But whatever the reason, it's obvious that something isn't going as it should.

If it wasn't for that contract or his veteran/elite status, he'd be benched. He's playing that poorly.
 

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Although he may have a 'hero ball' tendency, I'm not ready to accept that as the sole cause of him not throwing to open receivers. There are other possible explanations, like locking into his primary receiver and not going through his progressions or not being able to see from the pocket. But whatever the reason, it's obvious that something isn't going as it should.

If it wasn't for that contract or his veteran/elite status, he'd be benched. He's playing that poorly.
Fragile psyche and public humiliation, Russ's mind is all messed up, can't think straight. The more humiliation he gets, the more he tried to hero his way out of it.
 

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Might just be time to have that career ending injury, real or not, and get out before he damages his reputation any more than he already has. His guarantee will keep him in fine cloths for the rest of his life . 165 million should be plenty to get him through the hard times.. Denver saves a few bucks and can continue the search for the elusive qb of there dreamsn
 
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RiverDog

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Fragile psyche and public humiliation, Russ's mind is all messed up, can't think straight. The more humiliation he gets, the more he tried to hero his way out of it.
That may be, but we don't know that for sure. All we know is that he's underperforming.

It will be interesting to see how he responds. Regardless of the cause of his slump, it has to be a huge embarrassment and humbling experience for him. If it is some type of mental condition, fragile ego, etc, will he have a "come to Jesus" moment, see the light, and start playing like he's capable? Or is he all washed up?

Except as it relates to our draft picks, I'm not rooting for or against him to succeed. But it is a fascinating drama.
 

Rainger

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What is ironic to me about Russ is earlier in his career, all we heard about is his work-ethic. How he puts in the work studying teams. He's the first one at VMAC (as early 5am) and the last one to leave. Now fast forward to today...someone who is putting in that kind of work shouldn't be struggling with reading defenses, etc. It leads me to question what is he looking at when studying films, etc.
that all ended when he hooked up with Ciara.
 

IndyHawk

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What can I add?I feel like I've been beating on a dead horse with Russ.
Been doing it for most of his time in the NFL.
Anyway I feel like Keasly said it best "He plays his game not the game".
I really think he has a slow processor and cannot go through all his reads,
this can explain why a guy can be open and Russ will never get there.
It wasn't so obvious when he would bail early and run around till someone
would get open off route.
Now he has slowed down with them heavy legs..He wants to sit way back in the
shotgun hoping he can buy time and see his one or two reads..
Slow processor and very limited as a QB who only uses one side or the other.
The Broncos are stuck with this for 5 more years at least?:oops:
After we get our top 10 pick I'm going to retire from Russ because I can tell you
here and now it's not going to get better for him,he will lose speed every year and
his arm is going to go as well.
He's not going to change and get better..He had many years to adapt his game for the
better and never did so that is on him alone.
The Sandlot King Is Dead.
 
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strohmin

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What is ironic to me about Russ is earlier in his career, all we heard about is his work-ethic. How he puts in the work studying teams. He's the first one at VMAC (as early 5am) and the last one to leave. Now fast forward to today...someone who is putting in that kind of work shouldn't be struggling with reading defenses, etc. It leads me to question what is he looking at when studying films, etc.
I agree completely. Ever since 2016, I have always wondered why he would never make pre snap adjustments or read blitzes. It was confusing because he was someone who was supposedly studying the game more than any other QB and suppose to be better than Peyton or Tom eventually. Yet year after year, he never showed me anything in regards to sound fundamental QB play. It was always TD bombs or 3 and outs.
 

keasley45

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that all ended when he hooked up with Ciara.

It never ended. He's still ' the first guy in and last guy out'.. but I honestly think it's all just part of the image he's curated. Same with hooking up with Ciara. Everybody's blaming her, when it was him that orchestrated that move to create the bad boyish, power couple vibe. She didn't ruin him. Just like Bobby Briwn didn't ruin Whitney Houston. Whitney and Russ were both calculated in their selection.

He's spent more time, going back to his college days even, creating the Wilson persona than he has studying the game.

 

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The Broncos are stuck with this for 5 more years at least?:oops:

Spotrac says the Broncos could realistically get out in 2026 (i.e., after the 2022-2025 seasons, "just" four years) with "just" $31.2M in dead money, and having spent "only" about $161M, that is, "only" about $40.25M per year for four years.
Overthecap says that if the Broncos were to cut Wilson after June 1 of 2024, they'd get zero cap savings and have "just" $35.4M in dead money. But since the cap savings would be zero, you'd think they'd keep him around as an expensive backup or tanking starter. Any time before that, there would actually be negative cap savings, so it just wouldn't make any sense to cut him unless the plan was to tear down everything, tank like crazy, and start again from scratch. I'm not even sure that kind of thing could work, because I'm really not knowledgeable about the intricate salary-cap rules.
Now I'm not sure how much dead money there would be, but it looks like Wilson will probably be with the Broncos through 2025, unless their front office can find a way to hoodwink some other team the way Wilson hoodwinked them.

That's an aspect of this I really haven't seen people discussing much: the unbelievably great con Wilson pulled on the Broncos, getting them to sign him to an extension that will make them pay out $161M or more to him over four seasons or more, without him ever having played even a preseason snap for them, much less seen any actual NFL-game action for them. I love heist movies, and I've got to give Wilson props for this one. While everyone else is saying the Seahawks pulled the heist of the century on the Broncos, I suggest Wilson may have actually pulled off a greater one at exactly the same time. What's really great about this for me as somebody who can't let go of my loathing for old Seahawks rivals from the Seahawks' days in the AFC West is that the victim of both heists is the Broncos.

I actually suspect Wilson may have [oh yeah, I'm qualifying the crap out of this... I'm very far from sure!] had an inkling he wasn't as great as everyone was saying he was, and that that was why he accepted a contract that was noticeably below the top of the market in annual value, even taking into account the fake-ass 2026-2028 part of the contract, with the no-way-the-Broncos-would-actually-take-them (even if Wilson really were "the man" now) cap hits of $58.4M, $53.4M, and $54.4M. Those years are basically there to spread out the signing bonus. Sure, Team 3 spun it as Wilson giving the Broncos a discount to help them build a team around him, but I think he might have been just going with the bird in the hand, knowing that playing out the season might make the two birds in the bush fly away.

I suspect Broncos management may have at some point said "this is as much as we'll give you now, without having seen how the team will play with you running the offense, and if you want more, let's have you play a season on your current contract first," and that tactic may have ultimately worked, because Wilson may have actually had the self-awareness to see that if things didn't go as well as expected, the contract offer after the 2022 season might be lower than the offer on the table before the season. Of course, those Subway ads suggest Wilson has no self-awareness at all, so 🤷‍♂️
 
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